The coercive Left's End of Discussion mob is emboldened and on the march. Four vignettes from around the country: (1) In New York, a pair gay hoteliers are facing angry boycotts because they dared to dine and chat with Ted Cruz. These men are successful businessmen, they're pro-gay marriage, and their political donations through the years have slanted heavily toward Democrats. But fraternizing with the enemy is now a punishable offense:
The two gay hoteliers whose duplex on Central Park was the site of a small dinner this week with Senator Ted Cruz are facing boycott threats to their properties. Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass own the apartment where the gathering for Mr. Cruz, who has been vociferously opposed to same-sex marriage, was the featured attraction on Monday night. The event focused primarily on foreign policy, but the topic of same-sex marriage came up, and during his appearance Mr. Cruz called it an issue best left to the states...Both men, in an apparent effort to play down any outrage in the gay community, put out statements making clear they disagree with the Republican senator from Texas on gay rights. “I was given the opportunity to have a candid conversation with Senator Ted Cruz on where he stood on all issues, foreign and domestic,” Mr. Reisner said. “It was just three months ago that I hosted a ‘Ready for Hillary’ event for a record turnout of 900 people at the Out Hotel.” He added: “Senator Ted Cruz and I disagree strongly on the issue of gay marriage, but having an open dialogue with those who have differing political opinions is a part of what this country was founded on. My tireless support of the gay community and its causes worldwide hasn’t changed and will not change.” Mr. Weiderpass said: “People on both sides of the aisle need to be able to communicate with one another even when they ideologically disagree. I worked tirelessly for the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ as a member of the board of directors for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and needed to reach across the aisle to make that happen. The fact that Senator Cruz accepted the invitation to my home was a step in the right direction toward him having a better understanding of who I am and what I believe in.”
Hey guys, we're gay, we're longtime and generous supporters of gay rights, and we hosted a Hillary event recently -- but we also believe in open dialogue with people who hold differing opinions, because that's what America is all about. Not good enough. Breaking bread with Cruz is a sin, and the impure must be purged. Over to you, courageously anonymous organizer of the boycott campaign:
"Shut the place down." For tolerance. The boycott has resulted in the cancelation of a charity event to fight AIDS. Think about that. Because the owners of a venue had dinner with Ted Cruz, an AIDS charity axed an entire event in a fit of pique. Sorry, AIDS patients -- priorities are priorities. One of the hoteliers has now backed away from his initial, laudable defense of free inquiry and exchange, caving to pressure with an abject apology for a "terrible mistake." (2) A panel of bureaucrats has recommended a fine of $135,000 (!) against a Christian-owned bakery in Oregon for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Here are the supposed damages claimed by the "victims:"
This is not satire, I'm afraid. When supporters raised more than $100,000 for the family-owned bakery, gay rights activists demanded that GoFundMe shut down the page because it "violated [the organization's] policy against raising money “in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.” Heinous crimes. GoFundMe, no doubt terrified of the Outrage Mafia, complied. Fundraising efforts have moved elsewhere. (3) The student government body at Johns Hopkins University struck a blow for progress, or whatever, by banning Chick-fil-A from campus. Keep in mind that the construction of a Chick-fil-A had not even been proposed, so this was a pre-emptive strike against hypothetical future "microaggressions:"
Johns Hopkins University has banned Chick-fil-A from its campus saying that the restaurant is a “microaggression” against its students. In an 18-8 vote, the Student Government Association at Johns Hopkins voted not to “support the proposal of a Chick-fil-A, in a current or future sense, particularly on any location that is central to student life.” The anti-Chick-fil-A bill listed seven main reasons why the restaurant should be banned from campus. The first is that “the Student Government Association of Johns Hopkins University aims to provide a safe, supportive environment for all university affiliates now and in the future.” The fourth is that “visiting prospective and current students, staff, faculty, and other visitors who are members of the LGBTQ+ community or are allies would be subjected to the microaggression of supporting current or future Chick-fil-A development plans.”
Lunacy. Because the ownership of a popular chicken joint disagrees with a prevailing political opinion on campus, the thought police have swooped in to ensure that the restaurant never be permitted to serve its food to students -- because the franchise's very existence could amount to a "microaggression" (a depressing term of art Mary Katharine and I tackle in our forthcoming book on exactly these sorts of matters) for the delicate sensibilities of passers-by. Because, apparently, college campuses have been remained as "safe spaces" in which nobody must ever be subjected to anything that might offend or disrupt or challenge. It's embarrassing. For those keeping track, Johns Hopkins' silencing brigade also "protected" graduates from listening to Ben Carson -- a black, world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon -- because of his conservative worldview in 2013. (4) Elsewhere in Maryland, another institution is covering itself in glory, taking (later-reversed) totalitarian cues from their counterparts at the University of Michigan:
University of Maryland College Park student group pulled "American Sniper" from its spring movie lineup following complaints from a Muslim student group. The group, Student Entertainment Events, announced on its web site Wednesday that it had canceled the May showings of the film...SEE said it was contemplating "an event where students can engage in constructive and moderated dialogues about the controversial topics proposed in the film." "SEE supports freedom of expression and hopes to create space for the airing of opposing viewpoints and differing perceptions," the group wrote. "While not easy, we want to start having these hard conversations." More than 300 people signed a petition started by the Muslim Student Association that describes the film as "war propaganda guised as art reveals a not-so-discreet Islamaphobic, violent, and racist nationalist ideology." "This movie dehumanizes Muslim individuals, promotes the idea of senseless mass murder, and portrays negative and inaccurate stereotypes," the creators of the petition wrote. "This movie serves to do nothing but make a mockery out of such immense pain."
American Sniper celebrates the life of an American war hero. It's seen as an "Islamophobic" orgy of "racist nationalist ideology" by a tiny fraction of Americans, many of whom would rather call names than grapple with the alarming degree to which their religion is used to justify unspeakable barbarity. Rather than watch the film and make their case during the ensuing discussion period, they'd rather censor the film altogether. End of Discussion, and Mission Accomplished. This is the direction in which our country is headed. Free people must fight it.